Former Athens minister charged in molestation case

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A former Oglethorpe County youth minister who was acquitted three years ago of charges that he molested a teenage girl was arrested last week, once again on child molestation charges.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents and Oglethorpe County sheriff's deputies arrested Norman Anthony Pugh, 43, on charges of aggravated child molestation, sexual exploitation of a child, electronically furnishing obscene material to a minor and making obscene telephone calls to a child involving a different victim.

Pugh, a truck driver who served previously as the youth minister for Arnoldsville Baptist Church, is held at the Oglethorpe County Jail without bond, Sheriff Mike Smith said.

GBI agents would not release details on the case or information about the victim, other than that she is younger than 14 years old.

Agents hope to finish their investigation by the end of the week, said Chris Bish, assistant special agent in charge of the Athens office of the GBI.

"We are still doing interviews," Bish said. "There is possibly more to it."

An Oglethorpe County Superior Court jury acquitted Pugh in November 2006 on charges that he molested a 14-year-old girl while he was the Arnoldsville church's youth minister.

Pugh's defense attorney, David Crowe, focused on inconsistencies in the victim's story during the trial. Crowe pointed out that she had told the church pastor, Nathan Palmer, that Pugh touched her breasts and genital area through her clothes but later told investigators that he reached under her clothes.

Dozens of family and church members rallied around Pugh after the first arrest. Palmer's wife posted bond for Pugh, and church members lined up in the courtroom to hug Pugh after he was acquitted.

Pugh was no longer working for the church when he was arrested last week, Smith said.

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mercyme
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mercyme 10/15/09 - 07:12 am
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We are seeing more and more

We are seeing more and more of this!!!! Men going into youth ministry to be close to the young, to prey on them. Parents please pay attention to who you put your children in the care of. Also some of the men who go into education field to be around children, are people who do this. SAD!!!!!

Retired LTC
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Retired LTC 10/15/09 - 07:42 am
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Ahhhh the refreshing story of

Ahhhh the refreshing story of a bible thumper who preys on young kids. I'm sure the "dozens of family and church members rallied around Pugh after the first arrest" are proud of perverted sick Pugh now. These family members and the Church sure did produce a fine outstanding productive member of society. Someone should bust his skull in jail.

ForHim
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ForHim 10/15/09 - 09:03 am
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Retired .... you really

Retired .... you really should have a clue about what you say before you post nonsense. The church does not "produce" Christians.

Retired LTC
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Retired LTC 10/15/09 - 09:11 am
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ForHim.....and you really

ForHim.....and you really should learn to read. Where did I say "produce Christians".

142
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Dan White 10/15/09 - 09:23 am
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The church didn't produce

The church didn't produce this, Retired. The culture of pornography did.

the_source
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the_source 10/15/09 - 09:41 am
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The most dishonest people

The most dishonest people people I've ever met go to church regularly and call themselves Christians. I hope there is a special place in Hell for these people.

Retired LTC
2
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Retired LTC 10/15/09 - 09:49 am
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Greenjacket....The Church

Greenjacket....The Church produced it. He used the guise of the Church to lure these unexpecting kids in. Porn is an inadament object....if he was lured by porn then why didn't his "faith" or God step in? So God said....ya know I'm going to let this creep molest these kids. Then I'm going to convince his family and church...look it says it right up there...that he's innocent. So yes YOUR "CHURCH" produced him.

justus4
109
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justus4 10/15/09 - 10:02 am
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That first jury should feel
Unpublished

That first jury should feel pretty stupid right about now. They didn't believe the girl's story because of "inconsistencies" that slick lawyering produced, while this guy was probably actually guilty at the first trial. So he had three yrs to continue violating kids and now, back looking for justice. Wow! Hope we get better citizen jurors this time...

ForHim
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ForHim 10/15/09 - 10:08 am
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Retired ... the whole content

Retired ... the whole content of your post referred to this man being a product of the church. Not hard to figure out what you were saying.

jaymay12
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jaymay12 10/15/09 - 10:10 am
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The church is the body of

The church is the body of Christ… Their place of worship did produce him…. My prayers go out to the family of the victim.

LynxRHot
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LynxRHot 10/15/09 - 10:33 am
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Retired...you can't even get

Retired...you can't even get your vocabulary right...let alone your accusations about church. What is "inadament object"? Perhaps you mean "inanimate", something you can't see or touch. I sure wish people who post on here would stop showing their ignorance. If you are going to post a message, at least use proper grammar and vocabulary.

LynxRHot
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LynxRHot 10/15/09 - 10:36 am
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For the record....even when

For the record....even when the church is full of hypocrites, there is always room for one more!

ForHim
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ForHim 10/15/09 - 10:41 am
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Not all people who go to

Not all people who go to church are Christians. Just like all people who work on cars are not mechanics. To be a Christian, you have to ACCEPT Jesus as the Son of God. Nobody can force Him down your throat. The church is the body of Christ. But that body does not include non-Christians. You can tell anyone you are a Christian ... it doesn't make you one.

3M3T1B
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3M3T1B 10/15/09 - 10:54 am
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Why are people acting like

Why are people acting like this is something new. Have you forgotten about the catholic priests that were in fact produced by the church, moved to different locations when accusations arose, and defended by the church.

3M3T1B
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3M3T1B 10/15/09 - 10:58 am
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LynxRHot - Are you the new

LynxRHot - Are you the new grammar and vocabulary monitor for comments sections?

SRVaughn5490
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SRVaughn5490 10/15/09 - 11:15 am
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A pedophile is a pedophile,

A pedophile is a pedophile, church or no church, pornography or no pornography. They are sick & will continue to prey upon victims no matter what. I should know I am former victim of two male family members.

corgimom
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corgimom 10/15/09 - 11:19 am
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Pornography does not make a

Pornography does not make a pedophile. Looking at pictures is vastly different than molesting a child. It's about power and control and seduction, not about sex.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 10/15/09 - 11:33 am
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Thank you corgimom for that

Thank you corgimom for that post at 12:19pm. Being a pedophile has nothing to do with porn or sex, it's about control over the victim. People want to blame the church and God when someone commits such a horrible crime but it doesn't have anything to do with the church. There have been many who attend church services and perform services in the name of the Lord but that does not make them the body of Christ. It's no different than having a person go to college and get a teaching degree, get a job at a school, and does not teach a classroom full of children a darn thing. Just because they have that piece of paper does not make them a teacher.

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 10/15/09 - 11:42 am
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".if he was lured by porn

".if he was lured by porn then why didn't his "faith" or God step in?" posted by Retired. What you fail to understand Retired is that faith had nothing to do with this. This pedophile wasn't putting his faith in God or anything else. He is sick. We don't understand why bad things are allowed to happen and even Chrisitians questions things sometimes but we have the faith that His way is not our way and God understands the purpose and good will come from this. Maybe not in our lifetime but good can come from bad. That's hard for a non-believer to understand and I don't expect you to agree but that's okay. Where you have bitterness, I have hope and I pray these victims and their families will put their trust in the Lord for healing.

butler123
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butler123 10/15/09 - 12:36 pm
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It's not the churches fault.

It's not the churches fault. These pedophiles are good at what they do. They use these positions to access children. This stuff has been going on from the dawn of time. It's just that 50 years ago this would have been an embarressment to the parents. At least we are making progress. It's not just in churches, it's anywhere someone can have access to children. Like the boy scouts, and the YMCA.

corgimom
36483
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corgimom 10/15/09 - 06:15 pm
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He hasn't just done this

He hasn't just done this twice. He's probably done it hundreds of times.

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